July 10, 2002

This Issue
Vol. 21, Issue 42
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The first anxious teenagers won't lay their hands on the new, revamped version of the sat for three years. But the impact of the decision to overhaul the nation's most widely used college-entrance exam is likely to resonate in high school classrooms, admissions offices, and "test prep" courses well before then. Includes sample questions.
State officials are frustrated and worried over a lack of federal guidance on setting annual performance targets for schools, as required by the nation's major education law. Fueling their concerns are preliminary simulations in more than a dozen states that suggest a majority of their schools could be identified as needing "improvement."
The U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling upholding the Cleveland voucher program has rejuvenated the school choice movement and, to a surprising degree, reinvigorated the debate over how best to improve the education of all the nation's schoolchildren.
The foundation has been laid for a new round of legislative battles over school vouchers in state capitals from coast to coast.
A commission that chooses how to spend tobacco-tax revenues in Los Angeles County is expected to decide next month whether to establish universal access to preschool across the county.
Departments
Departments
  • U.S. Appeals Court Backs Ban on Columbine Religious Tiles
  • Seattle Parents File Lawsuit Over Report Card Changes
  • Federal Judge Ends Oversight of Prince George's, Md., Schools
  • Checking Underwear at Dance Costs Administrator Her Post
  • East Detroit, Mich., Board Member Pleads Guilty to Corruption Charge
  • Boston School Board Repeals Plan for English-Language Learners
  • Deaths
Advocacy groups and federal nutrition officials worry every summer that millions of children aren't getting the meals they need when school is out.
Americans say the No. 1 way to improve schools is to raise teacher quality, according to a recent poll commissioned by the Public Education Network and Education Week.
Departments
The decision stunned educators and parents in the Sacramento suburb of Elk Grove, Calif. In Portland, Ore., district officials said it would have little effect on schools. And for some 23,000 students in Quaker schools, the recent ruling by a federal appeals court struck at a practice their own schools reject as a matter of principle.
Test scores continue to climb in urban school districts, some of which are making greater gains on math and reading assessments than their state averages, a report concludes.
Departments
After falling off the curriculum map a generation ago, geography has made a quiet comeback in U.S. classrooms. Still, its supporters are looking to hold on to the ground they've gained, especially at a time when political and economic stakes have been raised to learn about other places and cultures.
Politics Page If Lamar Alexander succeeds in his bid for the U.S. Senate, he will be the first education secretary to serve in Congress, or to go on to any elected office after serving in that Cabinet post.
Consummate teachers' union veteran Reg Weaver overwhelmingly won election last week to the National Education Association's highest post, defeating Los Angeles union activist Denise Rockwell for president.
Through his Center for Reform of School Systems in Houston, Donald R. McAdams is trying to get school boards to look beyond their districts' immediate concerns and see a bigger picture.
Local policies on screening personnel for past convictions for sexual abuse could change at some Roman Catholic schools as a result of the Catholic bishops' recent approval of a new policy to curtail the sexual abuse of minors by priests.
Departments
  • Some Calif. Test Scores Fall Along With Class Size
  • Games and Lessons
  • Online Teacher Learning
  • Testing Guidance
Achieve, which was founded by governors and corporate executives following the 1996 national education summit to help states pursue standards-based education, will soon be experiencing a change in leadership.
Students in private schools are more likely to attend racially segregated classrooms than students in public schools are, according to a new study by University of Arkansas researchers.
In the latest turn of the revolving door that has come to symbolize the job, three urban superintendents are out and one is in.
Departments
A state appeals court in New York has reversed a landmark school finance decision that had ordered lawmakers to overhaul the state's school funding system.
Forging new alliances with the nation's colleges and universities was a front-and-center theme at a June 24 gathering of early-childhood education experts.
Charneice M. Broughton picked up her ringing telephone on the last Thursday in June to hear news that made her burst into tears of joy: The highest court in the land had just given its blessing to the voucher program that enables her to send her 8-year-old daughter to a private school.
Following are excerpts from the majority, concurring, and dissenting opinions in the U.S. Supreme Court's June 27 decision in the Cleveland voucher case, Zelman v. Simmons-Harris:
Ballot measures that would have led to publicly financed voucher systems have been put to voeter and defeated in the following states. No such statewide ballot proposal has won voter approval.
Several mornings this June, Clint Bolick arrived at the U.S. Supreme Court and took a seat in the exclusive section of the gallery set aside for members of the court's bar.
Steve Behr, a pastor ordained by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, became a plaintiff in the case challenging the Cleveland voucher program because he believed it was "bad theology" for religious schools to take vouchers.
The hubbub outside the U.S. Supreme Court building had barely died down late last month before the action shifted to the big white dome across Capitol Hill's First Street.
Here are examples of the kinds of questions that students will be asked in the verbal section of the revised SAT:
During its third special session of the 2002 fiscal year the Oregon legislature approved a budget plan that may restore some school money lawmakers had earlier slashed. Yet even with those changes, Oregon's budget troubles are unlikely to go away.
With the state's economy hemorrhaging, Illinois officials said they had no choice but to perform surgery with a blunt scalpel on the education budget for next year.
Departments
  • Southern States Warned New Federal Law Could Bring Bad News
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Missouri
  • Vermont
  • Mass Drops Cash Bonuses for Master Teachers' Program
  • Federal Judge Reverses Ariz. Ruling
  • Pa. Court Approves Cyber Charters
  • Ga. Again Faces Scoring Woes
  • Study: Mich. Charters Better With Age
  • Miss. Names New Schools Chief
  • Ariz. Auditor Finds Flaws in Project
Education officials say they don't see most school districts suddenly crafting new drug-testing policies just because the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld such testing of students in a wide range of extracurricular activities. Includes "In the Court's Words," excerpts from the court's opinions.
The U.S. Supreme Court has closed the courthouse door to parents and students seeking to sue school districts in disputes over the privacy of education records. Includes "In the Court's Words," excerpts from the court's opinions.
Departments
  • Initial 'Reading First' Grants Awarded to Three States
  • Program Pushes Fruits, Veggies
  • Welfare Overhaul Advances
  • Report Sees College-Cost Crunch
  • Study Urges Aid to Hispanics
  • African Education Aid Proposed
  • 'Hatched' D.C. Teacher Rehired
  • Title IX in the News: Education Department Names
    Commission to Study Title IX
  • Title IX in the News: Group Cites Costs of Gender Bias in Athletics
If influential Senate lawmakers have their way, the Department of Education's primary research office will get its long-awaited face-lift this year.
New ESEA Lest any reader miss it, Secretary of Education Rod Paige resorted last month to bold and italicized print to make perfectly clear a key point about the new federal education law: "[T]he new choice requirements must be implemented beginning this fall."
Democratic politicians and some education groups are sparring with the Department of Education over civil rights protections specifically included—or excluded, the agency says—in the "No Child Left Behind" Act of 2001.
Here are the numbers of schools identified by each state, based on the most recent test scores available, that will have to offer public school choice this fall, under the less stringent 1994 ESEA:
Here are excerpts from the majority, concurring, and dissenting opinions in the U.S. Supreme Court's June 27 decision in Board of Education of Independent School District No. 92 of Pottawatomie County v. Earls, the student drug- testing case from Tecumseh, Okla.:
Majority Opinion | Concurring Opinions | Dissenting Opinion

Here are excerpts from the majority, concurring, and dissenting opinions in the U.S. Supreme Court's June 20 decision in Gonzaga University v. Doe, a case involving enforcement of the privacy of student records:
Majority Opinion | Concurring Opinions | Dissenting Opinion

It was a major year for education in the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices addressed school vouchers, drug testing of students, and two cases involving the federal law that guarantees the privacy of education records.
Middle school is hard enough. Imagine what it's like for a child with Down syndrome. Sixth grader Chris Vogelberger found out last year.
Walt Haney, a professor of education at Boston College, says his recent research on Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System calls in to question the basic premises of the accounability movement.
A truly meaningful bottom line for teachers should be based on objective measures of their classroom-delivery prowess, not their students' normative tests, says teacher Davy McClay.
Letters
Departments
How can anyone trust the numbers if there is opportunity for politicians to massage the data or determine the time and manner of their release, ask Diane Ravitch and Chester E. Finn Jr.
FOUNDATION SUPPORT: Coverage of specific topics in Education Week is supported in part by grants from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the CME Group Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the NoVo Foundation, the Noyce Foundation, the Raikes Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation. The newspaper retains sole editorial control over the content of the articles that are underwritten by the foundations. Additional grants in support of Editorial Projects in Education’s data journalism and video capacity come from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Schott Foundation for Public Education. (Updated 1/1/2017)

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